Back-to-school time means it’s also lice prevention time for many households and schools. Head lice are common around school-age children, and can spread rapidly from kid to kid. If you’re dealing with a head lice outbreak in your classroom, it’s important to educate parents and children on important pest control practices.
Here’s what you need to know about head lice and how to handle a head lice outbreak.
What are head lice?
Head lice are small insects that feed on blood. They hide in the hair and bite the scalp, leaving behind nits (eggs), itchy bites and even sores or lesions. You may be able to see lice on the hair shafts—and your child will probably scratch their head incessantly until the lice infestation is treated.
Head lice can be transferred from person to person easily. The lice can jump from one person’s head to another, or be transported when a person shares a hat or hairbrush. (It’s smart to teach your child that they should never share hats or brushes, and not to place their head against someone else’s—especially if there’s a current outbreak at their school.)
If you or your child get lice, keep in mind that it has no correlation to how clean and tidy you are. Since the insects feed on blood, they don’t really discriminate when it comes to whose scalp they’re invading.
How to treat head lice
If a child gets head lice, visit your doctor. They’ll check your child’s hair for nits, and suggest an over-the-counter medication. You will likely need two treatments, since the medication will not kill nits that haven’t hatched.
The treatment isn’t exactly pleasant, but it’s safe and effective when used as directed. If you find that the lice are resistant to treatment, your doctor can prescribe a stronger treatment to kill the lice.
Head lice management for schools
These days, authorities suggest rescinding the “no nit” policy—that is, not letting children back in school until the nits are gone—since it causes children to miss school unnecessarily. They don’t believe nits can be transferred easily, so long as appropriate precautions are taken. The affected students should be treated at home for lice outbreaks as soon as they’re detected.
If your school is experiencing a head lice outbreak, determine what your school’s head lice attendance policy is. If students are allowed to come to school with nits (not hatched, crawling lice), make sure there are policies and guidelines that will prevent further spread. Tell students not to share personal care items, and not to put their heads together (except in a metaphorical sense). As long as the crawling lice have been eradicated with treatment, nits are not a particular danger—but it’s better safe than sorry.
When you need help with pest control, the team at Pied Piper Pest Control can help. We have experience eradicating plenty of pests, from spiders and ants to bed bugs and flies. Call us today to learn more about pest control solutions for your school.
Categorised in: Insect Control
This post was written by admin